Mind geography: doors and mirrors

Characters have to live somewhere, of course, but the question is always where.  When I first started working (cluelessly) on SKY, I gave Morgan my growing-up house, because 1) it was all I could think to do, since 2) my own high-school memories were contained in that setting, so it helped with becoming a teenager again.  My guess is these comfortable geographies appear a lot in first novels because our characters need a setting we don’t have to work at.  We’re too busy with other stuff–like dialogue, pace, voice, and the list goes on foreeeeever.

That house was sold last week.  Before the new owners came in, I took a few pictures.  Why?  I thought I’d show you where Morgan lived.  I apologize right now if there’s weird spacing.

Here’s the bathroom where nobody ever let me get ready (I had to do it in my room).  Not Morgan–even though she’s a simple girl, there’s still prep, and she does it here, against all kinds of backlash.

photo of a bathroom mirror(The back of my phone is the graphic for Dumbledore’s Army from the Order of the Phoenix film (HP nerds unite!)).


Here’s the window in Morgan’s bedroom.  The real Tessa threw rocks at it to wake me up when she wanted to talk in the middle of the night.

bedroom window



Here’s the obnoxious orange shag carpet Morgan mentions–after my dad died and the house was professionally cleaned, that 40-year-old carpet was the best-looking thing in the house.  Go figure.

burnt orange shag carpet


Here’s the front door, and Morgan walked through it as often as possible.  Doors are awesome for escaping teenagers–except, of course, when you have to come back.

photo of a front door








Here’s the upstairs hallway (her door is the farthest away on the right).  Doors everywhere.  She opened some.  She closed some.  Some were slammed in her face.

a hallway of doors with a mirror


I’m sad the house is gone, but I’m glad new people will love it and make it their own.  It lives in my head, and in SKY, and as you can see, it’s full of doors, mirrors, windows, and light.  And a little badass orange shag carpet.

This entry was posted in adolescence, books, SKY, small world, there is no place like Nebraska, writing life. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Mind geography: doors and mirrors

  1. Cindy Cronn says:

    I loved this entry even before I realized there were pictures. Lots of wisdom in describing how it works to do your first fiction in a familiar place. The house looks great. Good work, Kirstin.

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